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October 23, 1978 – Depending on your age, you were either very interested in the ongoing and almost-there Middle-East Peace negotiations, or the news that Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious had attempted suicide and was rushed to a hospital in New York.
The Middle-East news was potentially huge. Egypt was on the verge of agreeing to the Camp David Peace Accords, brokered by the U.S. between Egypt and Israel, and that on this day, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had a few questions on some minor points. But all was looking upbeat and hopeful that, for the first time, almost since the establishment of the state of Israel, a settlement and the hope for peace was within reach. Not everybody was happy about it. There were serious doubts on both sides, and the notion that Egypt would venture into such a peace agreement with Israel seemed a betrayal to the Arab world by some. And some Israelis were dismayed that such a peace accord would give away too much and would leave Israel vulnerable, and an expected debate in the Knesset later on this day was going to be a blood bath. It would be a tenuous peace. But as many pointed out – it was some form of peace, the first of any such agreement to come along in nearly 40 years.
Meanwhile: China and Japan ratified a treaty of Peace and Friendship, and the second round of SALT talks were winding up on this day. The talks between U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko, came on the heels of a 6-hour hard bargaining session the day before which produced a note of optimism from the American side. The negotiators were trying to overcome a few final hurdles to a new treaty restricting Nuclear bombers and missiles. Off-the-record reports indicated optimism and a strong chance of a summit meeting in Washington before the end of the year.
And Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, already under suspicion and charged the previous week in the stabbing death of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen was rushed to a hospital in Manhattan at dawn, after slashing his wrists with a broken light bulb. Vicious had been free on a $50,000 bail, pending a hearing slated for later on this month.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this October 23, 1978, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup via WCBS Radio in New York.